SPECT imaging of lung ischemia-reperfusion injury using [99mTc]cFLFLF for molecular targeting of formyl peptide receptor 1

Eric J. Charles, Mahendra D. Chordia, Yunge Zhao, Yi Zhang, J. Hunter Mehaffey, David K. Glover, Julien Dimastromatteo, W. Zachary Chancellor, Ashish K. Sharma, Irving L. Kron, Dongfeng Pan, X. Victor E. Laubach, X. Victor E. Laubach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


SPECT imaging of lung ischemiareperfusion injury using [99mTc]cFLFLF for molecular targeting of formyl peptide receptor 1. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 318: L304-L313, 2020. First published December 4, 2019; doi:10.1152/ajplung.00220.2018.-Primary graft dysfunction after lung transplantation, a consequence of ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI), is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. IRI involves acute inflammation and innate immune cell activation, leading to rapid infiltration of neutrophils. Formyl peptide receptor 1 (FPR1) expressed by phagocytic leukocytes plays an important role in neutrophil function. The cell surface expression of FPR1 is rapidly and robustly upregulated on neutrophils in response to inflammatory stimuli. Thus, we hypothesized that use of [99mTc]cFLFLF, a selective FPR1 peptide ligand, would permit in vivo neutrophil labeling and noninvasive imaging of IRI using single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). A murine model of left lung IRI was utilized. Lung function, neutrophil infiltration, and SPECT imaging were assessed after 1 h of ischemia and 2, 12, or 24 h of reperfusion. [99mTc]cFLFLF was injected 2 h before SPECT. Signal intensity by SPECT and total probe uptake by gamma counts were 3.9- A nd 2.3-fold higher, respectively, in left lungs after ischemia and 2 h of reperfusion versus sham. These values significantly decreased with longer reperfusion times, correlating with resolution of IRI as shown by improved lung function and decreased neutrophil infiltration. SPECT results were confirmed using Cy7-cFLFLF-based fluorescence imaging of lungs. Immunofluorescence microscopy confirmed cFLFLF binding primarily to activated neutrophils. These results demonstrate that [99mTc]cFLFLF SPECT enables noninvasive detection of lung IRI and permits monitoring of resolution of injury over time. Clinical application of [99mTc]cFLFLF SPECT may permit diagnosis of lung IRI for timely intervention to improve outcomes after transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L304-L313
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Formyl peptide receptor
  • Ischemia-reperfusion injury
  • Lung transplant
  • Molecular imaging
  • Spect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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